Two Mustang graduates win national woodworking awards

Zack Holt won second place for his desk in the North American Woodworking Contest. He won Best of Show in state competition. Photo / Chris Eversole

Kailen Weidner won first place in the North American Woodworking Contest in Las Vegas last week. Photo / Chris Eversole

By CHRIS EVERSOLE
newseditor@mustangnews.info
Two students who graduated from Mustang High School in May won awards in national competition.
Kailen Weidner won first place for his dresser, and Zack Holt won second place for his desk last week at the North American Woodworking Contest in Las Vegas.
Only 20 high school projects from the United States and Canada were entered in the competition, which was held as part the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers Fair.
Vavek Patel also showed a vase at the competition. This is Vavek’s second time as a finalist, noted woodworking teacher Mike McGarry.
In the state industrial arts and fine arts competition at Quail Springs Mall in May, Holt won best of show for the decorative table that he entered in the Las Vegas show.
At state, Weidner won first place in the Level 3 large furniture category, and Patel won in the Level 3 lathe category.
While industrial arts training has declined at other Oklahoma schools, Mustang High School’s program continues to be strong.
Some students have founded their own businesses doing work such as making glass etchings for upscale homes, bars and restaurants.
In woodworking, McGarry has taught in Mustang for 39 years, Mike Meledeo for 33 years and Justin Lindsay for eight years.
Woodworking involves taking an idea, developing a design and painstakingly building a project – a series of tasks that takes more patience than is common in today’s world of instant gratification, McGarry said.
“We are really teaching problem-solving,” he said. “The students do so much work in their mind trying to get the project done.”

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